By Niall Clarke
- Canadian Grand Prix preview
- Lewis Hamilton insists he has put the Monaco incident behind him.
- ‘I don’t look back, I’m looking forward.’ Hamilton says
After a controversial Monaco grand prix, Lewis Hamilton will look to get back on track as the championship leader heads to Montreal and the Gilles Villeneuve circuit.
The Brit was seemingly heading to another victory on the street circuit after leading from the first corner. However, when the safety car was brought out for Max Verstappen’s crash, the Mercedes team thought it was a good idea to bring Hamilton in for a pit-stop; they were wrong.
When the Brit re-joined the track, he had dropped to third behind Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg.
“We have lost this haven’t we?” Hamilton said to his team, as he saw the race he was once dominating slip away.”
The British driver was relegated to third place due to the strategic error, whilst team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg went on to win the race. The outrage from the British public had people screaming cries of ‘Fix.’ But the ever maturing Hamilton insists that he has moved on from that incident.
“I couldn’t care less about it,” he said (Source: The Telegraph). “I haven’t thought about the last race for a long time.
“I’m just thinking about the next race. I put my mind to other things, training and trying to come back strong this weekend. So it’s really irrelevant what happened in the past. There’s nothing you can do about it, so there’s no point in dwelling on it.”
The fingers were directly pointed at Mercedes. After all it was their call that seemingly cost Hamilton the race. But despite the error, the championship leader remains positive about the team.
“Things are good with the team, we have decided to move on to this weekend. I will keep on doing what I’m doing as it has worked pretty good for me until now,” Hamilton said before stating his confidence in the team. “Same as always. 100%. I have full trust in the team, we have had pretty incredible success together and one race does not dent the solid foundation that we have.”
With the Monaco grand prix firmly behind him, Hamilton will now focus on extending his championship lead when he hits the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. The Brit’s lead was cut to ten points after the Monaco debacle, with Nico Rosberg closing in after back to back victories.
Despite having to retire from the race last year, Hamilton has fond memories of the Canadian Grand Prix which has historically been one of his better races. He won his first Grand Prix here in 2007, and of the four races he has finished here, Hamilton has won three and finished third in the other.
The forgotten Brit.
With all the attention surrounding Hamilton, people may forget that there is another British driver taking to the grid this weekend.
Jenson Button’s 2015 season has hardly been something to shout about. The McLaren driver has only claimed four points thus far, which came a fortnight ago in Monaco. The team’s Honda reunion has got off to inauspicious start, with Button and his team-mate Fernando Alonso struggling amongst the middle pack.
The race might be unpredictable, but the Brit has found success on this circuit before. Button took his McLaren Mercedes (not Honda) from seventh on the grid, to first four years ago.
A brief history of the Canadian Grand Prix
The Canadian grand prix has been a fixture on the Formula One Calendar since 1967, where Jack Brabham won the inaugural race at Mosport Park. Due to the rivalry between English and French-speaking Canada, the event rotated between the Ontario-based Mosport Park and Mont-Tremblant in Quebec for many years.
The race found a home in Montreal in 1978 at the then named Circuit Ile Notre-Dame. The race was won by home crowd hero Gilles Villeneuve, who to this day remains the only Canadian to win a home event. After his fatal accident at the Belgian Grand Prix four years later, the circuit was renamed in his honour.
The 1982 race was also marred in tragedy when Italian driver Riccardo Paletti died of his injuries following a crash on the start line.
Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most victories, with seven between the years 1994 and 2004. His domination of the Canadian Grand Prix has never been repeated, with Lewis Hamilton and Nelson Piquet being the nearest challenges to Schumacher’s crown with three victories.
A number of British drivers have taken the chequered flag in Canada. Jackie Stewart claimed back to back victories in 1971, and 1872, before James Hunt won the race four years later. It was a decade before we would see another British winner, when Nigel Mansell raced his Williams to victory in 1986. Damon Hill claimed victory during his title winning season here ten years after Mansell’s victory.
Hamilton’s first win in Canada came in 2007. He then went on to win the race two more times in 2010 and 2012, sandwiching Button’s victory in 2011.
Can Hamilton move one win closer to Schumacher’s record and extend his lead at the top of drivers’ standings?
And will Button bring his Mclaren home for another points finish?